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Jason Cole 

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09-25

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1

Notes from the Field: AZL Scouting Notes, Part Two
by
Jason Cole

09-20

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Notes from the Field: AZL Scouting Notes, Part One
by
Jason Cole

09-13

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2

Covering the Call-Ups, Part Two
by
Mark Anderson, Ben Carsley, Jason Cole, Craig Goldstein, Jeff Moore and Bret Sayre

09-12

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Covering the Call-Ups, Part One
by
Ben Carsley, Jason Cole, Craig Goldstein and Jeff Moore

09-11

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Hot Prospect Video
by
Jason Cole

09-10

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The Call-Up: Christian Bethancourt
by
Jason Cole and Paul Sporer

09-04

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2

Hot Prospect Video
by
Jason Cole

09-03

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5

Transaction Analysis: Breaking Down August's Buzzer-Beating Trades
by
Ben Lindbergh, Jason Cole, Nick J. Faleris and Chris Mellen

09-03

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3

The Call-Up: Michael Choice
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

08-29

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2

Hot Prospect Video
by
Jason Cole

08-29

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2

The Call-Up: Taijuan Walker
by
Jason Cole and Paul Sporer

08-20

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Hot Prospect Video
by
Jason Cole

08-16

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5

The Call-Up: Kolten Wong
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

08-16

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3

Hot Prospect Video
by
Jason Cole

08-09

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2

Transaction Analysis: Rios in Texas
by
R.J. Anderson and Jason Cole

07-23

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3

Transaction Analysis: Garza's Trip
by
Jason Parks, Jason Cole and Sam Miller

07-12

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Hot Prospect Video
by
Jason Cole

07-03

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Hot Prospect Video
by
Jason Cole

06-28

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4

The Call-Up: Brad Miller
by
Jason Cole and Paul Sporer

06-27

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6

The Call-Up: Johnny Hellweg
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

06-21

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3

BP Unfiltered: Hot Prospect Video: Ronald Guzman
by
Jason Cole

06-18

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3

The Call-Up: Wil Myers
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

06-04

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7

The Call-Up: Scooter Gennett
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

05-30

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1

The Call-Up: Alex Wood
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

05-30

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6

The Call-Up: Michael Wacha
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

05-24

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3

BP Unfiltered: Justin Grimm Steals an Out
by
Jason Cole

05-23

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BP Unfiltered: Hot Prospect Video: Taijuan Walker
by
Jason Cole

05-20

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9

Monday Morning Ten Pack: May 20
by
Jason Parks and Jason Cole

05-17

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BP Unfiltered: Hot Prospect Video: Kaleb Cowart
by
Jason Cole

05-10

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The Call-Up: Burch Smith
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

05-01

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7

Scouting the Southern League
by
Jason Cole

04-25

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2

The Call-Up: Robbie Erlin
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

04-17

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2

BP Unfiltered: Hot Prospect Video: Lewis Brinson
by
Jason Cole

04-10

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4

Scouting the Draft: The Red-River Rivalry
by
Jason Cole

04-09

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6

BP Unfiltered: Hot Prospect Video: Archie Bradley
by
Jason Cole

04-03

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6

Dissecting Darvish's Opening Day
by
Jason Cole, Zachary Levine, Ben Lindbergh and Harry Pavlidis

04-02

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5

BP Unfiltered: Hot Prospect Video: Austin Hedges
by
Jason Cole

04-01

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The Call-Up: Jedd Gyorko
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

03-14

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33

Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Backfields Notes: Texas Rangers
by
Jason Parks and Jason Cole

03-06

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15

Scouting the Draft: Baseball Prospectus At the Coca Cola Classic
by
Nick J. Faleris, Jason Parks and Jason Cole

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September 25, 2013 6:04 am

Notes from the Field: AZL Scouting Notes, Part Two

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Jason Cole

Seven more interesting players Jason saw this summer, including Devin Williams.

After covering top Arizona League prospect Clint Frazier in part one of my AZL scouting notes series, I profile another batch of intriguing players today, including an athletic power arm in Brewers second-round pick Devin Williams. The complex leagues make for a fun scouting environment, but it’s often a difficult one with so much youth and projection involved. In addition to Williams, part two features some of the circuit’s youngest talents, including Diamondbacks shortstop Sergio Alcantara and his July 1996 birthdate.

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September 20, 2013 6:00 am

Notes from the Field: AZL Scouting Notes, Part One

0

Jason Cole

Eight interesting players Jason saw this summer, including first-rounder Clint Frazier.

Earlier this summer, I spent a couple weeks in the Arizona desert, watching some of the newest additions to baseball’s professional ranks. The rookie Arizona League provides some of my favorite scouting every year, as I’m able to see young players make their transition to the next level. There are always top draft picks––and with the earlier signing deadline imposed last year, those are in abundance––but I still enjoy looking for the sleeper pop-up prospects often found at the complex level.

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Scouting and fantasy takes on hitter prospects promoted to the majors this month.

We’ve devoted full articles to the most promising prospects promoted to the majors late this season, but we're offering scouting and fantasy takes on the best of the rest in a two-part series. The pitchers ran yesterday. Here are the position players.

JR Murphy, C, Yankees
Scouting Take:
A converted infielder, Murphy has made significant progress as a defender behind the plate, but even that progress leaves him as an adequate defensive catcher. His arm is just average and while he shows occasional quickness with his feet, pop times in the 1.95-2.00 range are relatively unique for Murphy. His receiving is not clean and there is still work to be done to polish his defensive tools. Offensively, Murphy has the balance and strength in his swing to project as a fringe-average hitter with average overall power once he settles into the big leagues. He makes frequent contact and has solid pitch recognition skills that should allow him to contribute in the bottom third of an MLB lineup. —Mark Anderson


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September 12, 2013 6:00 am

Covering the Call-Ups, Part One

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Ben Carsley, Jason Cole, Craig Goldstein and Jeff Moore

Scouting and fantasy takes on five pitching prospects promoted to the majors this month.

We’ve devoted full articles to the most promising prospects promoted to the majors late this season, but we’ll be offering scouting and fantasy takes on the best of the rest in a two-part series running today and tomorrow. First up: the pitchers, with position players to follow on Friday.

Brian Flynn, LHP, Marlins
Scouting Take:
Flynn, a former seventh-round draft pick (2011) out of Wichita State, was one of the pieces the Marlins acquired at last season’s trade deadline in the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante trade, and is the last of the trio to make it to the majors (following Rob Brantly and Jacob Turner). The 6’8”, 240-pound left-hander has seen his strikeout rates spike this season, precipitating a rise through the Marlins system that saw him start the season in Double-A Jacksonville and end it at Marlins Park pitching in front of a similar-sized crowd. He has good control for a tall pitcher and features a low-90s fastball with a good downward plane to go with a pair of usable off-speed pitches—a slider and changeup—and a show-me curveball. The improvement in his changeup is what helped him jump from striking out 7.0 batters per nine innings in 2012 to 8.2 in the 2013 season, and it gives him a chance to stick as a back-end starter. He should compete with Henderson Alvarez, Tom Koehler, and others for a spot in the back of the Marlins rotation next season. —Jeff Moore


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September 11, 2013 6:00 am

Hot Prospect Video

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Jason Cole

Jason talks to the Astros top prospect who almost became the first modern minor leaguer to go 40-40.

The only disappointing thing about George Springer’s on-field production in 2013 was that he didn’t become the first player in the modern-era minor leagues to reach the 40 home run, 40 stolen base mark. The 23-year-old outfielder did make some history regardless, as he became the first member of the minor-league 30/30 club since former A’s prospect Grant Desme joined it in a 2009 season split between Low- and High-A.

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September 10, 2013 6:00 am

The Call-Up: Christian Bethancourt

0

Jason Cole and Paul Sporer

The Braves call up a glove-first catcher of the future with the offensive potential to be an everyday guy.

The Situation: With an NL East crown all but officially secured, the Braves have called up top catching prospect Christian Bethancourt to give him a taste of major-league life. While Atlanta already has three capable catchers on its roster, Bethancourt should still get a few in-game looks this month as the club begins to evaluate its potential 2014 catching corps. Perennial All-Star backstop Brian McCann appears set to test the free-agent waters this offseason, and while Evan Gattis and Gerald Laid will remain under team control, Bethancourt is considered the Braves’ catcher of the future. If McCann is wearing another uniform next season, Bethancourt’s readiness––or lack thereof––will play a key role in determining what the club does behind the plate in 2014. The Braves could potentially acquire a stopgap to give Bethancourt a year in Triple-A, rely on the Gattis/Laird combo, or roll with the 22-year-old prospect.

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September 4, 2013 6:00 am

Hot Prospect Video

2

Jason Cole

Jason talks to one of 2013's breakout pitching prospects.

One of the minors’ top breakout arms in 2013, Rockies farmhand Eddie Butler jumped three levels while putting himself squarely on the national prospect radar. Although Butler ranked no. 48 on Baseball Prospectus’ mid-season top 50 prospects list in June, he didn’t enter this season as one of BP’s top 10 Rockies prospects. The 22-year-old was instead listed as a name on the rise, with Jason Parks writing that Butler “should see his prospect status elevate after a good full-season debut in 2013.”

To say that Butler saw his prospect status rise in 2013 would be an understatement. In fact, he’s likely to rank even higher than no. 48 entering next season, and he’s probably the Rockies’ top prospect at present. The former supplemental first-round pick opened this season by posting a 2.07 ERA in 22 starts between Low-A Asheville and High-A Modesto. He finished with a brilliant six-start stint at Double-A Tulsa, yielding just two runs on 13 hits in 27 2/3 innings while walking six and striking out 25.

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Reviewing all the moves, as baseball's second trade deadline saw bubble teams gearing up for September and sure things looking toward October.

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September 3, 2013 12:00 am

The Call-Up: Michael Choice

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Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

The A's bring up a power-hitting outfielder, though his window to contribute meaningfully may not open until next year.

The Situation: After posting a strong .302/.390/.445 slash line in 132 games at Triple-A Sacramento, Choice has received his first call to Oakland. It’s a true September call-up, as Choice isn’t being brought up with the expectation that he’ll receive regular at-bats in the club’s chase for a postseason berth. As reported by A’s beat writer Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Choice’s call “is a reward for a solid season by a high-profile prospect.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean Choice can’t make an impact or work his way into some playing time. Oakland’s outfield situation is tenuous at present, with Chris Young and Seth Smith underperforming while Josh Reddick is on the shelf for at least another week. As a result, regular first baseman Brandon Moss has taken over in right field––filling in for Reddick––with Daric Barton and Nate Freiman working the first-base platoon. While the unstable situation could yield a slight window of opportunity for Choice, it’s more likely that his first serious look comes next spring.

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August 29, 2013 6:00 am

Hot Prospect Video

2

Jason Cole

Scouting and interviewing a top catching prospect whose buzz is building.

As a high school prospect in the Albuquerque area, infielder-turned-catcher Blake Swihart drew serious interest from scouts due to his unique profile. His mature swing from both sides of the plate, good athleticism, and plus arm enticed the Boston Red Sox to select him 26th overall in 2011 and move him behind the plate full-time.

Although Swihart spent the vast majority of his high school career as an infielder, he has made a quick transition to catching in the professional ranks. His bat is progressing, as well. After hitting .262/.307/.395 at Single-A Greenville last season, the switch-hitter moved to the more pitcher-friendly environment of High-A Salem and the Carolina League in 2013. Swihart’s offensive numbers have improved drastically in his second full season, as he’s hitting .294/.358/.423 through 99 games. And the 21-year-old isn’t showing any signs of tiring down the stretch, batting .366 in 19 contests this month.

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August 29, 2013 6:00 am

The Call-Up: Taijuan Walker

2

Jason Cole and Paul Sporer

Seattle summons one of baseball's top pitching prospects for a Friday start.

The Situation: After designating veteran righty Aaron Harang for assignment earlier this week, the Mariners will call up top prospect Taijuan Walker to start Friday’s game against the Houston Astros. Seattle will look to get Walker a taste of big-league competition while injecting some intrigue into a rotation that has been extremely shaky past the 1-2 punch of Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma. The other seven starting pitchers used by Seattle this season have a cumulative 5.55 ERA in 76 starts.

Walker, who ranked no. 9 on Baseball Prospectus’ mid-season top 50 prospects list, will likely make at least a couple big-league starts before season’s end. After logging 126 2/3 innings at Double-A last year, he joins the M’s with 141 1/3 frames under his belt in 2013. Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN in Seattle has reported that Walker’s ideal innings cap is approximately 160, leaving some wiggle room for September.

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August 20, 2013 6:42 am

Hot Prospect Video

0

Jason Cole

A chat with the Cardinals' recent call-up.

In an effort to shuffle and kick-start their lineup, the Cardinals recently purchased the contract of 22-year-old second baseman Kolten Wong from Triple-A Memphis. Wong, who ranked no. 34 on Baseball Prospectus’ mid-season top 50 prospects list, figures to slot in as the club’s primary second baseman against right-handed pitching. As a result, All-Star two-bagger Matt Carpenter has slid over to third base, with the scuffling David Freese moving to the bench.

Wong may ultimately see some action against left-handed pitching, though he wasn’t in the lineup against southpaw Travis Wood on Saturday. While the lefty swinging prospect hit .289 against his fellow southpaws in Triple-A this season, he did so with little punch (.383 SLG). On the other hand, Wong posted a robust .310/.386/.504 slash line against Triple-A right-handers.

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